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ISHLT Members in the News




Alanna A Morris, MD
Emory University
Atlanta, Georgia, USA


Post-Transplant Immune Response May Hurt Blacks

Medpage Today, 28 Aug 2013

Multiple factors account for why African Americans have poorer survival after heart transplant—and immunological differences may play a role, a large study suggested. Compared with white, Hispanic, and Asian transplant recipients, blacks had higher peak panel reactive antibody (PRA) values, giving them a greater likelihood of rejection, according to Alanna A. Morris, MD, of Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, and colleagues. Nearly one-third of blacks (31%) experienced graft failure compared with 27% of Hispanics, 26% of whites, and 21% of Asians (P<0.001), they reported in the study published online in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Read full article →



Samuel S Gidding, MD and Christian Pizarro, MD
Nemours/Alfred duPont Hospital for Children
Wilmington, Delaware, USA


Nation's Second Accredited Pediatric Heart Failure Institute is Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children of Wilmington, DE

The Sacramento Bee, 27 Aug 2013

The Healthcare Accreditation Colloquium announced today that Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, DE became the second Accredited Pediatric Heart Failure Institute in the nation following an in-depth onsite review. "We pursued accreditation with the Colloquium as a way to independently assess the quality of our heart failure and related clinical programs," said Sam Gidding, MD, Division Chief of Pediatric Cardiology. "The accreditation process both validated our sense of the quality of our program and gave us many new suggestions to improve our program. We anticipate working with other Colloquium pediatric centers to better standardize and improve pediatric heart failure care across the United States." ... "We had the sense we were making great progress in pediatric heart failure including advanced care with ventricular assist devices and heart transplant," said Christian Pizarro, MD, Chief of Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery and Director of the Nemours Cardiac Center. "The Colloquium's approach to collaborative learning will help everyone organize and implement existing knowledge more effectively and quickly than in the past." Read full article →



Rajat Walia, MD
St. Joseph's Hospital
Phoenix, Arizona, USA


Prescott woman embraces life after double lung transplant, heart surgery

The Daily Courier, 25 Aug 2013

Margaret Duke said she quit a 30-year smoking habit about eight years ago, but it still took a toll on her. Duke, 55, said doctors diagnosed her with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease five years ago. COPD includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. She is now leading a healthy life after undergoing emergency open-heart surgery April 8 and a double lung transplant May 8, both at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix.... Lung-transplant surgeries typically take about six hours, but doctors finished Duke's procedure within five hours, said Rajat Walia, M.D., a leading pulmonologist and medical director of the lung-transplant program at St. Joseph's. "We expected it to be a difficult surgery because of her heart surgery, but it turned out fine," Walia said. Read full article →



A Michael Borkon, MD
Mid American Heart & Lung/St. Luke's
Kansas City, Missouri, USA


Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute Performs 600th Heart Transplant

Kansas City InfoZine, 24 Aug 2013

Saint Luke's heart transplant program has performed its 600th heart transplant. Only 21 programs in the U.S. have performed more adult heart transplants.... "Our heart transplant team is very proud of this milestone," said Michael Borkon, M.D., surgical director of cardiac transplantation at Saint Luke's and co-executive medical director at Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute. "We have come a long way over the past 28 years and have assembled an exceptional team of dedicated and experienced heart failure, critical care, and transplant professionals which represents the very best of what Saint Luke's is all about." Read full article →



Nirav Y Raval, MD
Piedmont Heart Institute
Atlanta, Georgia, USA


Listening to warning signs helped save woman's life

Neighbor Newspapers.com, 24 Aug 2013

When Lawrenceville resident Denise Widzgowski found she had trouble catching her breath after walking up a flight of stairs, she knew something was wrong. Immediately, she consulted with her doctor and test results revealed she had a weakening heart that would leave her in need of a heart transplant at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital in Buckhead just months after she was diagnosed with idiopathic cardiomyopathy. "When Dr. Porkert referred Denise to the heart transplant program here at Piedmont, we knew that the medications simply weren't doing what they needed to for her," said Nirav Raval, M.D., Piedmont Heart. "It was clear Denise needed a heart transplant and so, we started the evaluation process to see if she was eligible." Read full article →



Andrew J Savage, IV, MD
Medical University of South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina, USA


Spartanburg newborn perseveres against difficult odds

Go Upstate.com, 23 Aug 2013

Lily Bennett was born in an operating room on Jan. 28, 2013. She weighed six pounds, two ounces, with blonde hair, blue eyes, 10 fingers and 10 toes. But there was one major problem—a problem that would lead to months of uncertainty and fear—she was born with a congenital heart defect.... Lily had a deformation with a pulmonary valve and doctors placed her chance of survival at 10 percent. Over the next six months, Tara and Ryan would shed many tears and say many prayers. Their little girl turned out to be a fighter. A miracle, even. "I would definitely classify her as a miracle," said Dr. Andrew Savage, Medical Director of Heart Failure and Transplant at the Medical University of South Carolina. Read full article →



Leway Chen, MD, MPH
University of Rochester
New York, USA


Heart transplants add value, offer longer lease on life

Rochester Business Journal, 16 Aug 2013

Beth Coughlin started to notice odd sensations-racing and pounding feelings in her heart-when she was in her 30s. An elementary school teacher at a Webster parochial school, she blamed it on job-related stress initially. But over time the feelings started to occur when she was not particularly stressed, and they got worse. Coughlin saw a doctor.... He referred her to Leway Chen M.D., a cardiologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center who founded URMC's Program in Heart Failure and Transplantation in 2001 and has served as its director since then. Read full article →



Frank Downey, MD
Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA


Aurora St. Luke's performs 800th heart transplant

Journal Sentinel, 23 Aug 2013

Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center has performed its 800th heart transplant, a milestone exceeded by only 14 of the 330 medical centers in the country with heart transplant programs. Heart transplants—once the medical equivalent of putting a man on the moon—now have become a common procedure: Aurora St. Luke's did 39 heart transplants last year and 52 in 2011. "It's to the point where you are expected to survive," said Frank Downey, a heart surgeon and surgical director of the cardiac transplant program. Aurora St. Luke's and other programs could perform more heart transplants if more donor organs were available. "We have the patients waiting," Downey said. "It's all about the organ donors." Read full article →



John C Mullen, MD, FRCSC
University of Alberta Hospital
Edmonton, CANADA


Edmonton woman undergoes rare life-changing transplant, with help from mother and sister

Global News, 21 Aug 2013

An Edmonton woman has been given a new lease on life thanks to two family members and a procedure so rare that it's only been performed eight times in the last 12 years in Canada, each time at the University of Alberta hospital.... Human lungs have five lobes—three on the right and two on the left. Because Lorna is so small, doctors felt two people donating one lobe each would be enough. So her mother and sister stepped up. "I was a little reluctant at first because of the sister having four young children. Because literally she's putting her life on the line," said cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. John Mullen. "There was a one per cent chance that she could have died with an operation like this, and even a one per cent chance is a big thing when a person has four young children." Read full article →



Timmy Au, MD
Queen Mary Hospital
HONG KONG


Relief as transplant gives heart boy a new life

The Standard, 22 Aug 2013

A 14-year-old boy has won a new lease of life after a successful heart transplant at Queen Mary Hospital yesterday.... Before the transplant, Kelvin was fitted with a mechanical heart, but doctors said it would buy him only limited time. The Berlin heart ventricular assist device—an external blood-pumping machine—was fitted in July. It costs close to HK$2 million, and was the only one in the SAR. It works for only about a year. Lai said the doctor in charge of the transplant, chief of cardiothoracic care Timmy Au Wing-kuk, told him that Kelvin's transplant was very successful. Read full article →



G Alec Patterson, MD
Washington University in St Louis
St. Louis, Missouri, USA


First adult liver-double lung transplant patient celebrates milestone

Barnes Jewish Hospital Blog, 20 Aug 2013

William Drabant II recently celebrated a major milestone with members of his care team. In August 2012, he became the first adult to receive a liver-double lung transplant at the Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Transplant Center.... G. Alexander Patterson, MD, Washington University chief of cardiothoracic surgery, performed the lung transplantation portion of the procedure. Read full article →



Christof Schmid, MD
Klinikum der Universitat
Regensburg, GERMANY


'Not many heart donors, globally'

Deccan Chronicle, 18 Aug 2013

He has so far conducted 300 heart transplantations and has implanted left ventricular assist devices (artificial hearts) in 400 patients and also done extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in over 800 patients - the three advanced and most complex procedures in heart care today. But an unassuming Prof Dr Christof Schmid, director of Klinikum der Universitat, one of the largest hospital complexes in Germany, who is in Kochi to attend the annual conference of the Society for Heart Failure and Transplantation, stresses that he is out to spread an important message: the message of organ donation. Read full article →



Robert S D Higgins, MD, MSHA and Bryan A Whitson, MD
Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
Columbus, Ohio, USA


Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center Re-Starts Lung Transplant Program

10TV.com, 16 Aug 2013

Doctors at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center performed their first lung transplant in four years. OSU transplant surgeons Dr. Robert Higgins and Dr. Brian Whitson stopped by to see Rebecca Cason on Friday. Cason is the first patient at OSU to get a new set of lungs since the medical center re-started its lung transplant program earlier this year.... The surgery took four hours, and Dr. Higgins says Rebecca did well. Read full article →



Holger W Buchholz, MD
Stollery Children's Hospital
Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA


Canadian girl makes history with heart device

Ottawa Citizen, 2 Aug 2013

One year ago, a five-year-old Muskaan Grewal couldn't take a few steps without becoming exhausted. She was so weak, the little girl's parents would often carry her, even for short distances such as from the car to the house. But after visiting the Stollery Children's Hospital in Edmonton, Muskaan's life drastically changed.... Dr. Holger Buchholz, director of the pediatric artificial heart program, said the artificial pump was the best way to give Muskaan a normal life while she waited. Read full article →



Jamil G Bashir, MD
St. Paul's Hospital
Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA


Heart pumps work as 'bridge to transplant'

Vancouver Sun, 1 Aug 2013

To support a failing heart, there are two general types of ventricular assist devices, long-term and short-term. Two cardiac surgeons—along with four other cardiologists—at St. Paul's Hospital perform all implantations of long-term devices in the province, under the B.C. Acute Heart Failure Program. The devices, which are "essentially mechanical heart pumps," can be used in patients with advanced heart failure, whether from a congenital defect in children or from an infection, heart disease or artery blockages in older people. "The problem is that if someone gets sick we can't just pull a heart off the shelf and give it to them," said cardiac surgeon Dr. Jamil Bashir, who estimates about 100 VAD surgeries are done a year at 10 centres in Canada. Read full article →




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